Halkidiki, Greece: Day 2

Sun is out today – thank goodness! Wandered down into Hanioti in search of provisions after not being able to stomach a cup of tea without milk.

It was nice. Lots of nice-looking bars and restaurants and the beach looked good too. However, there seemed to be a distinct lack of holiday-makers. We wondered if perhaps the area had been over-run by zombies overnight. I dipped a toe into the sea and it was not in any warm. Looked inviting though. It’s going to have to get much warmer before this boy submerses himself in it.

Sat and had breakfast on the balcony. From it there is an amazing view down to the sea. It’s very lush and green with sporadic orange roots poking up through the trees, On the horizon, past the sea, you can make out the second finger of the Halkidi. I will refer to the 3 strands from now on as the deformed fingers of Halkidiki.

Whilst buying breakfast in the local supermarket, there was a man behind a meats counter laying into a slab of meat with the world’s biggest cleaver – we may turn vegetarian yet!

The hotel complex (which incidentally,is sprawling – we wasted no time in getting lost on the way to our apartment) is swarming with swallows. They’ve even built a nest on our balcony.

Talking of balconies, ours is great but has two minor flaws.

  1. I’m worried that we’re not going to get any sun on it. Time may yet prove me wrong. I hope so
  2. There is no privacy divide between us and the couple’s balcony next door. This means our conversations on the balcony must be quiet, clean and there’ll certainly no moping about in the nude.

I wish I was good at tennis. There is a tennis court down in the gardens below our apartment. It’s free to use too. But I’m rubbish at tennis and would only show myself up in front of guests whose balconies also overlook this ‘court of potential humiliation’. I wonder if Tim Henman’s holiday location choices are based on the availability of a tennis court?

I am growing a beard. It’s one of those slugs that sits under your bottom lip. Respected jazz musicians have them. I wonder if I can gain respect simply by growing one? I’m not Lisa fully approves of this project.

Spent the most of the morning (and, oh what a glorious morning it was – boiling hot and not a cloud in the sky!) basking around the hotel (village) pool. The swallows were at large, swooping down and dipping in and end out of the pool. Crazy kamikazee birds!

Went to a taverna called “Zorbas” which was very friendly. I had grilled sardines and Lisa had the good old Greek Salad. A big group of germans came in whilst we were there and plonked themselves down next to us.one of whom was a tattooed beefcake. He has a tattooed girlfriend too.

We attended the obligatory rep talk in the afternoon. Vanessa was on fine form getting her words all mixed up.and excusing herself on more than one occasion with a “I haven’t got me teef in”. Too right. Simon and Kerry were there and also another couple who were both blonde and quite young from Bristol. They (she) were keen on shopping in Thessalonika. We all decided that 40 euros per person (£26 at current exchange rate) was a go-er for the BBQ cruise on Sunday so we booked up. Should be fun.

Also, found out that Prince Charles is ridding himself of his sins at Mount Athos (top finger) this week. Seemingly he has a permanent pass. Women aren’t allowed on or near Mt Athos so I guess he has left Camilla at home?

We pottered down to the beach at Hanioti which is just a few minutes’ walk. I made my debut in the sea which seemed reasonably painless.

It got deep fast though. There were some quite big albeit blandly decorated fish knocking about  along the bed. Some looked about half a foot long but that could’ve been a refraction trick. Why do I always get a runny nose when I’ve been in the sea? Runny noses are for winter and colds not holiday and beaches. The people on the brochures bouncing around in the sea never have snot running down their happy chins.

I rather fancy a go on a pedalo before our two weeks are over. They’re available for hire here and popular too! We saw one party (there were about 8 people on one pedalo – it was like an immigrant mission for freedom) in the sea. One girl on it shouted to some mates on shore “We’re going to Turkey!”. They weren’t. They were actually going the opposite direction.

Tonight they’re having a special barbecue at the village. We’re snubbing it though in favour of exploring Hanioti’s tavernas. Hope they’re not going to be offended by our non-conformism. We would like to defend our right to keep ourselves a bit to ourselves though at this stage.

The pillow dilemma

Since our room comprises 3 single beds (two of which were already pushed together when we arrived) there are 3 pillows. Unfortunately, we are both 2-pillow kind of people. One just isn’t enough. Hence, we are taking it in turns to sleep with two pillows. It’s Lisa’s turn tonight.

Bought some wine in the supermarket on the way home from the beach which claims to be Halkidiki wine. Does this mean it is made from grapes grown here? It seems quite nice. A good choice says Lisa sipping it from one of the over-sized shot glasses we have been kindly supplied with.

Disaster of the Day!

Me diving into the sea and flamboyantly splashing about before stumbling out and collapsing on my beach towel then realising I’d forgotten to remove the 2 x 5 euro notes from my shorts pocket.

Went out for tea at the Kassandra Rooftop restaurant which was very cool.Our waiter looked like a greek Shane Richie (which was a shame really). I had grilled salmon and Lisa had chicken souvlaki. We then meandered around and discovered the Lounge Bar in Hanioti. It was very chilled out. The bar maid was from Leeds and was called Phillipa. She was a bit of a whippersnapper.

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